The woman hopes to soon see all outside dogs living inside the home.
By JOHN W. GOODWIN JR.
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
YOUNGSTOWN — Jennifer Groza believes no dog should be chained outdoors, and she spent half a day tethered to a cage in her grandparents’ front yard to emphasize that point.
Groza, a 24-year-old Youngstown native and student at the Western School of Health and Business in Pittsburgh, covered the medium-sized animal pen with tarp and attached herself to it with a 12-foot chain Sunday morning. There, surrounded by family and neighbors, she sat for 10 hours.
Groza’s actions were part of the Unchain The 50 national effort by the Dogs Deserve Better organization to raise awareness of the plight of dogs that are constantly chained outside. About 104 people in 34 states participated in the event.
“We want to raise public awareness that people still chain their dogs outside forever and this is considered a form of animal abuse,” she said. “People don’t realize that chaining outside is one of the causes of aggression because [the dogs] are shut out from the world, and when they do get loose, that is when kids can get bit.”
Groza said another problem with chaining dogs outside is that some dogs hang themselves trying to jump over fences or porches with the chain still tied around their necks. She said some pet owners, in an effort to be responsible, put their dogs in danger.
According to Groza, the Animals Deserve Better organization encourages dog owners to engage in “basic training” with their pets. She said every dog must be taught how to behave indoors and feel as if it is part of the family “pack.”
Animals Deserve Better, via donations collected during the Unchain The 50 campaign, can assist pet owners in bringing their outside dogs indoors. The organization, Groza said, leaves literature on the doors of homes with outside dogs, then offers to pay for the medical attention and provide a fence if the owner agrees to bring the dog inside. The organization will place the dog elsewhere if the owner no longer wants the animal.
Groza, at the halfway point of her endeavor, raised about $200.
“People have to realize [the dog] will not be the perfect dog when it first comes into your house. They do become the perfect dog, but it takes time and patience,” she said.